White paper on the future of Europe: high time for Europe to debate and choose
Friday, March 3, 2017 - 10:30
Press release, 03 March 2017
The Spinelli Group welcomes the “White Paper on the Future of Europe” presented by the President of the European Commission yesterday as it contributes to an open debate on the hard choices Europe is facing and that have been postponed for too long.
The debate and decisions on the future shape of the European Union cannot and must not be left to national governments alone. A wide and deep collective discussion - involving also national parliaments, political parties, civil society organisations and citizens at large - is needed to raise awareness and gather consensus on any option Europe will choose for its future.
An open debate on all options presented by the European Commission is welcome because it highlights what is really at stake today for all Europeans. The Spinelli Group believes that the European Union can’t simply stand still hoping for a better future, nor can it reduce itself to just a single market or, even less, dismantle some of its policies. These options would lead to a weaker Europe less secure in today’s unstable world.
We believe in a European Union with strong and democratic institutions and with the tools and resources to address Europe’s challenges of prosperity, security, migration and influence in the world. Some countries will have the responsibility to lead the way and bring this more integrated Europe forward. In the debate now open, the Spinelli Group will stand by such vision and by the proposals recently approved by the European Parliament on how to reform the Union, within and beyond the current treaties.
Next 25th of March, The Spinelli Group, together with a network of other organisations of the European civil society, is rallying citizens from all over Europe in Rome for a “March for Europe” to show that citizens are willing to stand up against nationalism and old and new divisions and are ready to support plans for more and better Europe. The meeting of the Heads of State and Government in Rome should approve a roadmap for the debate proposed by the European Commission and a timeline for decisions.
The Spinelli Group is an initiative launched in September 2010, led by Guy Verhofstadt, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Sylvie Goulard and Isabelle Durant. Today its group in the European Parliament is co-chaired by Elmar Brok and Jo Leinen, supported by a Board consisting of Jan-Philipp Albrecht, Brando Benifei, Mercedes Bresso, Sylvie Goulard, Danuta Hübner, Ulrike Lunacek, Tom Vandenkendelaere and Guy Verhofstadt. The Group wants to inject a federalist momentum into the political decisions and policies of the European Union. Through a « Manifesto » in a similar fashion as Altiero Spinelli – the Spinelli Group call upon fellow MEPs and European personalities to develop a network of those who choose the European interest above their national interest, those who want to push the federal project in their respective environment.
The aim of the Spinelli Group is to become a network of citizens, politicians, academics and writers who are convinced it is time for Europe to move forward. The Spinelli Group enjoys the support of experienced personalities from the world of European politics and civil society who all agree to adopt a federalist approach in response to the numerous crises and revive the European spirit.